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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0268

Author: Manley, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-06-06

From John Manley

[salute] Hond. Sir

I presume the Liberty of presenting to your Honor my Destressing Situation, that long Captivity has much impaired my health, and what adds still to my Misfortune, that I am deprived of every Friendly { 362 } Communication, as I have not received a Letter from America since I have been a prisoner which is almost two Years. My good Friend Mr. Diggs has been my only support And he having left this Kingdom is the reason of my giving your Honor the present Trouble of requesting your Assi[stanc]e, to send me a small supply of Cash, which [I do] not Doubt but you will be well convinced I stand greatly in need of, as I can call Heaven to Witness that I am not Master of one sixpence. The Number of Prisoners in this prison is two Hundred and Twenty Eight, Eighteen haveing this day entered into the British Service, and are still Entering, owing to their being no Exchange and the shortness of our allowance, which scarcely will give one good Repast. I can inform you that the Continent is indebted to me for Services in Seventy Six, and Seventy Seven.

[salute] From your Most, Obedt. & Most Humbl. Servt.

[signed] John Manley1
P.S. If I should be so fortunate as to Obtain Any relief from you, should be glad you would Direct to the Revd. Robert Heath Plymouth.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “The Honble John Adams Esqr Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Care of Messrs J de Neufville & Son Amsterdam”; endorsed: “C. John Manley, Mill Prison recd & ansd June. 6. 1781.” JA's reply was in fact dated 26 June, see note 1. A tear caused by the removal of the seal has resulted in the loss of several characters.
1. For John Manley's capture and imprisonment, see vol. 10:62. For JA's reply of 26 June, see his letter of that date to Silas Talbot, and note 1, below. Manley wrote a similar letter to Benjamin Franklin on 4 June (Franklin, Papers, 35:121–122).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0269

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Bérenger, Laurent
Date: 1781-06-07

To Laurent Bérenger

[salute] Sir

Capt. Isaac Cazneau of Boston, lately arrived here from Norway, in his passage on board a Danish Vessel, unfortunately fell in with an English Privateer belonging to Hull, called the Flying Fish, who took away his Mate who was his Brother, and a Negroe Boy of about fifteen Years of age named Pompey. The Mate the flying Fish left in Prison in Hull, but kept the Negro on board.
The Privateer is lately taken by a French Privateer the Sans Peur, and carried into Helvoetsluis with the Negro on board, who is a Native of North America, and a Freeman.
Capt. Cazneau is very anxious to obtain for him his liberty. I have the Honour to beg your Interposition in this business, in the absence of his Excellency the Duke de la Vauguion, that if it can be done with { 363 } propriety, the Boy may be discharged. It is the constant practice in France to set Americans at Liberty, who have been captured in like manner.
Capt. Cazneau is a Gentleman of good Character and well known, so that his Testimony I suppose would be sufficient to prove the facts, but other Witnesses are here, if they were necessary.1
I have the Honour to be, with great Respect Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servt.
LbC in John Thaxter's hand (Adams Papers).
1. Cazneau reached Amsterdam on or about 22 May, the date on which JA wrote to AA that the letters she had entrusted to him had arrived (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:121–122).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.